Here's the latest on Emily as of 10 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2011:
Emily has slowed down a bit as it approaches Hispaniola. While slowing down can mean a sign of strengthening, in this case, it may be just because the storm is beginning to encounter a sizable land mass. It's only some 135 miles southeast of Port Au Prince and tropical storm warnings are in effect for Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the southern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands. Unfortunately, the slow movement of the storm over these mountainous island nations could also trigger life-threatening flooding and mudslides. Remember, some in Haiti are still living outside due to last year's destructive earthquake.
The track for Emily still puts the storm in the southern Bahamas by Friday and grazing the east coast of the Florida peninsula before intensifying in the Gulf stream and becoming a category 1 hurricane. However, the storm may not actually make an East Coast landfall this weekend:
Even though high pressure is pushing the system westward now, a gradual northward turn is expected late Thursday and Friday, keeping Emily from moving closer to the Gulf.